A woman wearing a face covering walks past empty poster boxes at Nickelodeon Cinemas on Middle Street in Portland on Saturday. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported two more deaths and 20 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, raising the totals to 867 confirmed cases and 34 deaths.

Meanwhile, another long-term care facility reported a confirmed case of the illness on Sunday: The Enclave of Scarborough, an assisted living and memory care-facility whose director said one resident had tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are keenly aware that this is a global public health crisis and there is nothing more important to us than taking care of our residents and our staff,” Executive Director Caitlin Marsanskis said in an email Sunday afternoon confirming the test result.

Marsanskis said the facility has notified all residents, staff and families of the case, and is following guidelines from public health authorities to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The Maine CDC on Sunday also recorded the state’s first case in Piscataquis County, the least populous of Maine’s 16 counties. Subtracting people who have recovered – 393 – and died, there were 440 active cases in Maine on Sunday.

The fatalities reported Sunday were a man in his 60s and a man in his 80s, both from Cumberland County, Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said. The public health agency reported three additional deaths on Saturday, but some information about the deceased, including their genders, was unavailable because of a technical glitch, Long said. Two were from Waldo County, and all were 70 or older, but the home county of the third person wasn’t available.

The news comes as Maine’s leaders strike a careful balance between protecting the state’s economy and its public health, noting progress from social-distancing measures, but also wondering when – and how – it will be safe to lift them.

On Friday, Gov. Janet Mills announced she would soon release a plan to reopen Maine‘s economy, and has been discussing how to coordinate that process with the governors of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said that easing restrictions could be possible if it happens gradually and is in response to each region’s circumstances. Though the Trump administration has recently released guidance on reopening state economies, Shah said those recommendations were more of a “skeleton” that needed fleshing out with Maine’s particular health risks and needs.

The uncertainty casts a pall over Maine’s tourism-dependent economy, which normally would be gearing up for the summer. In 2019, 37 million people visited Vacationland from out of state, and direct tourism spending reached $6.5 billion, the Maine Office of Tourism says.

Some experts think it could take years for the country’s tourism industry to rebound to last year’s levels.

Around the world on Sunday night, there were more than 2.4 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and over 165,000 deaths. The United States led other nations in both categories, with more than 746,000 cases and over 41,000 deaths.

Much of Maine saw the curve of coronavirus hospitalizations level off or even drop last week, perhaps helping the state to avoid worst-case scenarios in which health care systems are overwhelmed, as happened in Italy and New York City.

But the hospital data does not include long-term care facilities around the state, which have seen a surge in cases, and deaths, despite stringent social-distancing measures around Maine and within the communities themselves.

Shah said Friday a total of 112 residents and 52 staff members had tested positive at five long-term care facilities across the state where coronavirus outbreaks have occurred: Falmouth by the Sea, the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough, Tall Pines in Belfast and The Cedars in Portland. Nine deaths have been recorded at the five facilities.

On Friday, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced a temporary increase of $10.1 million in payments to congregate care facilities to support their pandemic response.

On Saturday, the Ashton Gardens retirement community on Ocean Avenue in Portland confirmed four COVID-19 cases among its residents. All symptomatic residents and staff are receiving tests, and residents have been asked to shelter in their apartments, spokesman Adam Bryan said in a statement.

Bryan did not respond to follow-up questions on Saturday. The Maine CDC said it had been working with Ashton Gardens since March.

The Enclave of Scarborough is located in the town’s Oak Hill neighborhood on Black Point Road.

Marsankis said staff members at the 81-unit facility follow all government recommendations and protocols for preventing the virus’s spread. They wear masks and goggles when near residents. The residents receive in-room dining services and visitors are limited to those residents who are deemed in need of medical aid or may be in certain end-of-life situations.

The Enclave of Scarborough closely monitors staff and residents for COVID-19 symptoms, including by having their temperatures taken, according to Marsankis. Areas of the facility that are frequently touched are being thoroughly cleaned, she said.

On Sunday morning, Cumberland County had the most cases in Maine, at 378, and York County was second with 177. Kennebec County had 97 cases.

Elsewhere, there were 35 cases in Androscoggin County, two in Aroostook, 12 in Franklin, six in Hancock, 12 each in Knox and Lincoln, 14 in Oxford, 43 in Penobscot, one in Piscataquis, 16 each in Sagadahoc and Somerset, 42 in Waldo and two in Washington.

By age, only 2.1 percent of cases were in people under 20, while 9.7 percent were in their 20s, 10.4 percent were in their 30s, 13.5 percent were in their 40s, 19.1 percent were in their 50s, 17.2 percent were in their 60s, 14.9 percent were in their 70s, and 13.1 percent were over 80.

Infection rates leaned slightly toward women, who made up 53.1 percent of confirmed cases.

Maine’s hospital capacity remained steady, with 320 intensive care unit beds around the state, 167 of which were available on Sunday morning. Forty-six patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 – 18 of those people were in critical care, and nine were on ventilators.

Of 338 total ventilators around Maine, 297 were available. There were also 369 alternative ventilators approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

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